Today is the third day since a massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake hit the Pacific Ocean near Northeastern Japan around 2:46pm on 11 March (JST). I am relieved to know that all my friends in Japan, some of whom are as close to me as my family, were shaken but safe. I thank God for His protection over them.
When I first watched the news outside a telco shop that evening, I couldn’t believe my eyes as the live footages of the impact of the earthquake in Tokyo were played. Tall office buildings in the metropolitan city were swaying and workers inside those buildings were petrified. At the street level, there were deep cracks on the roads and power failures were reported in many parts of the city. The public transport services, including bullet trains (shinkansen), local trains and buses, were forced to a halt. As night fell, many people were stranded on the streets and they had to walk home or stay overnight in the office.
In Northeastern Japan, the situation was even more appalling. An hour or so after the earthquake was felt in Tokyo, tsunami waves as high as 6 metres gushed over the coasts of Sendai, Fukushima and Ibaraki. I stood transfixed as I watched a footage of the sea washing ships ashore over the roofs of low rise buildings, completely drowning parked vehicles on the land, and breaking through windows of buildings. Cars and houses were floating on the waves and smashing into bridges.
The next few days, I followed the news on tv and on the internet as the aftershocks continued and the disaster zone expanded. To make the situation worse, fears of leakages in two reactors in a nuclear plant in Fukushima were confirmed. The nuclear plant had since been shut down and scheduled blackouts had been implemented to conserve energy.
I have been observing all these from the comfort and safety of a high rise apartment home, over dinner in a litted room, with not a sign of threat from nature outside my window. As an observer, I feel affected, so I cannot imagine the extent of trauma the people who are out there in the disaster zone are experiencing now.
The only thing I can do, is to get down on my knees and pray for the nation of Japan.
This is my prayer using Psalm 60:
Save the people in Japan and help them with your right hand,
that those you love may be delivered.
God has spoken from his sanctuary:
He will grant Japan aid against the enemy,
for human help is worthless.
With God Japan will gain the victory,
and he will trample down all enemies.
I pray that the churches in Japan will rise up and wave God’s banner high to proclaim His peace, love and hope over the nation.
Japan may have been shaken, but I claim God’s promise in the bible that He is with the people of Japan in the “gentle whisper after the fire” (1 Kings 19:12b).
I pray all these in Jesus’ name.
I urge you, please pray for Japan too. A minute is all it takes, but it will be the most valuable minute you can give to a life hanging on the line in the disaster-hit regions.
“I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land” Ezekiel 22:30
Our prayers can move the hands of God to change history. We have to stand in the gap before our heavenly Father for the Japanese people.
As it is, God is using this disaster to restore relationships between the nations. China had sent a rescue team to Japan and had offered an emergency aid of US$4.6 million, including a relief package of blankets, tents and emergency lighs to be despatched to the rescue operation sites in Japan. South Korea also put aside past resentment of Japan to assist Japan as much as possible in her dire need of help.
You may want to pray specifically for each region by referring to the comprehensive information on Google’s site.
Here are other practical ways you can help.
Mercy Relief in Singapore is accepting donations to procure relief supplies.
Follow the NHK World TV news in English, and these TV stations in Japanese: NHK, TBS, and FUJI.